RMG export exceeded target by 4.4pc in 2018-19
Readymade garments export in the just concluded financial year 2018-19 crossed the set target by 4.4 per cent while its total export earnings for the year stood US$34.13 billion, according to figure released by Bangladesh Export Processing Bureau (BEPB.
In absolute figure the performance stood $3.5 billion higher than $30.614 billion achieved during 2017-18 and last year's target of US$ 32.69 billion. Higher export earnings mainly came resulted from higher demand in European market.
EPB said the overall export earnings in 2018-19 were $40.5 billion against the target for $39 billion that included export by several other sectors like frozen and live fish, vegetables, petroleum products, pharmaceuticals, ceramics, engineering products, iron steel, knitted fabrics and others.
Exports of jute and jute goods, leather products, shrimps, fruits, building materials and few others drastically declined during last year despite being declared as a thrust sectors.
The official data shows RMG export posts the major amount of total foreign exchange earnings last year accounting for 84 per cent of total $40.5 billion.
Md Shahiudl Islam, a former BGMEA vice president while talking with The Daily Observer said the government has set export earnings of $50 billion by 2021 and it appears target is closer to achieve when the country has two more years in hands.
He said due to US-China trade war Bangladeshi garment exports are getting more access to the US market despite being subject to high tariff on garment exports. He said the RMG sector is currently facing some obstacles in exchange rates and a down swing in prices of apparels in international market.
The former BGMEA leader praised the government's decision of allocating more cash incentives for RMG exporters to fight the challenges and benefit from positive global market situation.
He said, 'We are also facing higher wages pressure that despite heavy price competition in the international market from other exporters we have raised workers salaries. It is becoming tough to continue production when higher gas price is again going to add to cost of production."
Among few other sectors, pharmaceuticals experiencing better performance due to its better access to highly regulated world market.
The official data shows medicines export posted 25 per cent growth in 2018-19 while the total export earnings were reported at $129.95 million - $17.76 million higher than the set target of $112.19 million for last year.
The highest export growth came from exporting of cut flower. It was $5.38 million as against a set target of $0.10 million.
Among others growth export of chemical fertilizer reported 100 per cent, print materials 34 per cent, cotton and cotton products including yarns, waste, fabrics rose 21.87 per cent and export of ceramics products recorded 32.79 per cent growth.